Type 1 diabetes affects more than 1 million people in the United States. In these patients, the immune system attacks and kills the beta cells in the pancreas which produce the insulin necessary to regulate blood sugar. Without these cells, patients must inject doses of insulin to control their blood sugar and carefully monitor what they eat.
The interaction between the various organs and cell types the liver and colon the focus of research in both health and disease. Recently, two labs from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have developed tools that will greatly benefit the study of these important organs.
For years the production of blood from stem cells has been an invention “just around the corner” without becoming a reality. Two recent Nature publications in the past month give new hope that the shortage of blood will come to an end.
In a 700-acre enclosure within Ol Pejeta Conservancy Park, roam three northern white rhinoceroses – Sadu, Najin and Fatu. Due to heavy poaching and loss of habitat, these three white rhinos are the last of their kind. Conservation efforts have restored the numbers of their cousin, the southern white rhinos, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for them.
The brain is incredibly plastic and is capable of forming new connections between existing neurons, but they don’t proliferate which makes them difficult to study in the lab. Much research has been done using mouse cells, but for a long time there wasn’t a good way to study human microglial cells. Recent research has focused on reprogramming already differentiated skin cells (“fibroblasts”) into a variety of neural cell types.
Research labs have used iPS cells to model and research human diseases as well as screen drugs. These applications have been especially conducive with the research of human development and neurological diseases.